March 17, 2021 Subject:
p70 "To investigate the internal grounds of credibility in relation to each detail given in the Gospels, (for it is with them alone we are here concerned) and to test the probability or improbability of their being the production of eye-witnesses, or of competently informed writes, is the sole object of the present work.
Long introductory discussion of mythical interpretation - a gradual process of theologians from historicity to mythical interpretation by - dealing with miracles - a struggle to keep an inherent truth to the stories - allegorical view still attributes the narrative to a supernatural force, whilst the mythical view moves on to ascribing it to that "natural process by which legends are originated and developed" Though examines external evidence in the Introduction.
Less a search for the historical Jesus than playing evengelicals' advocate in search of ways of leveling the inconsistencies or making up for them - or a study of criticism itself Examination of Gospels seeking natural explanations and rejecting literal supernaturalist orthodox explanations. Rationalistic method separating pure fact from the opinion of the interested. Discussing the obvious that the supernatural stories are made up - i.e. myth-poetry; and looking at their purpose, and influences wherefrom. Looking for a core of historicity.
At first I was thinking unconscionable amount of time rationalizing - better to just be a supernaturalist - but then I realized he was rationalizing in proxy, and getting to the real history, though that rationalizing doesn't seem necessary to get to the real history - except rationalizing the rationalizing of the original writers. And I don't know why he's doing the first except to show the fruitlessness of their efforts which is to rationalize discrepancies - part of discussing the discrepancies and that they are real and unresolvable and show not a literal and accurate history. - doesn't give enough credit to simply making things up, though then stuff made up to fit notions, but that not history
Sometimes not sure he is above the commentator's he discusses, he is, but easy to lose track, or he might not be clear on it until later. Never sarcastic - reveals his own thoughts on theology and the church in the last chapters. The Christology Gospels are a fitting model.